This past week has seen me start a new job, so go me, and thankfully it appears the Asian boxing scene hasn’t been that busy it’s self, giving me a chance to do double duty with no real issues. Despite the fact we’ve had a quite week, we have had a pretty interesting week some real bouts of note taking place over the last 7 days.
The action kicked off on Monday at the Korakuen Hall and the show on offer was a really good one with several notable names involved.
The most significant of the bouts on the show was a Japanese Middleweight unification bout that saw “regular” champion Hikaru Nishida (16-8-1, 7) take a clear, but very hard fought, unanimous decision over the much heavier handed Tomohiro Ebisu (17-5,17), who entered as the interim champion. Nishida didn’t look like a fighter who had been inactive for close to a year, following an out of the ring accident and instead pressed Ebisu hard with his pressure and out worked the naturally bigger man.
The same card also saw former Japanese Super Bantamweight title challenger Gakuya Furuhashi (19-8-1, 9) pick up a notable win as he scored a 3rd round KO win over the limited Masajiro Honda (6-9, 4). The bout might not mean much, but Furuhashi certainly needed a win as he was looking down the barrel following a rather mixed series of results coming into this bout.
After a few quiet days we saw quiet a bit of action on Friday.
The most notable of the bouts saw Filipino Jerry Tomogdan (23-8-4, 11) stop Japanese teenager Riku Kano (11-3-1, 6) and claim the WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight title. The two fighters had come up short at world level before though both saw this as a chance to move towards another world title fight. Sadly for Kano he was undone by the body work of Tomogdan and was stopped in round 6.
It wasn’t all good news for Filipino fighters however and on the same show Japanese prospect Futa Akizuki (9-0, 7) dominated the tough but limited Vincent Bautista (5-7-4, 1). Akizuki controlled the bout from early on, and dropped Bautista but the Filipino showed his guts and toughness to survive the 8 rounder, albeit on route to a lop sided decision loss.
There was also losses in Russia more Filipino fights. One of those bouts saw Russian based Tajik Shavkat Rakhimov (10-0, 8) twice come off the canvas before stopping former OPBF title challenger Jimmy Paypa (19-4-1, 7) in an up and down 6 rounder. Paypa had only suffered 1 previous stoppage loss, an opening round loss to Shingo Wake, and had come into this bout riding a 3 fight winning run. As for Rakhimov this qas a 4th straight stoppage win over a Filipino fight.
Russian Evgeny Chuprakov (18-0, 10) also broke Filipino hearts as he stopped Eden Sonsona (36-7-2, 13) in the 5th round of their bout, having dropped Sonsona earlier in the bout. Sadly for Sonsone this loss ends an impressive 6 year unbeaten run, which has seen him go 10-0-2 and score a huge win over Adrian Estrella in 2015.
On Saturday the attention turned back to the Korakuen Hall where we saw two former world title challengers had mixed fortunes.
One of those former world title challengers was the powerful Daiki Kaneko (26-5-3, 18), who recorded a 7th round TKO of the usually durable Tsuyoshi Tojo (13-15-5, 2). Prior to the bout Tojo had never been stopped, but it was clear that Kaneko was intent on making a statement and has now announced that he’s hoping to reclaim the Japanese Super Featherweight title.
The other former world title challenger was veteran Motoki Sasaki (42-11-1, 26). Sadly for Sasaki he was unable to keep up with the taller and younger Genki Ishikawa (9-1, 5) who took a clear 6 round decision over Sasaki, despite bleeding from a bad cut for around half the bout.
On Sunday there was much less action but we had two title bouts worthy of note.
In the Philippines fans saw the criminally under-rated Jonas Sultan (13-3, 8) retain his IBF Inter Continental Super Flyweight title, as he stopped former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (43-14-5, 30), actually knocking the veteran out of the ring in a vicious final flurry. With the win Sultan’s team have seemingly began to look at moving him towards a world title fight, though it’s clear he’s still some way from being ready for a title fight.
The other title bout saw WBC Youth Featherweight champion Takuya Uehara (12-0, 7) score a 6th round stoppage against Thai foe Nongdear Sor Bangkharu (1-15). The Thai was over-matched from the opening seconds, and although he showed some toughness, he was eventually broken down and stopped by the talented Japanese youngster.
Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info